How to Fish for Albacore Tuna

by Michael Cohen

Fishing for albacore tuna is an exhilarating experience for any angler. The high energy level and large size of most albacore makes for a challenging and memorable fishing trip. Albacore are prolific in the Pacific ocean and also frequent the Atlantic in lesser concentrations, meaning that anglers on both coasts can enjoy this hobby. While there are many ways to fish for albacore, the most exciting and rewarding method is the pole method.

Items you will need

  • Trolling boat
  • 40-lb. rated fishing pole
  • 300-lb. test fishing line
  • Hooks
  • Albacore lure
Step 1

Take your trolling boat out to an area where tuna are biting. Albacore prefer the warm temperate water currents 20 to 40 miles offshore.

Step 2

Set your pole with an appropriate line. Unfortunately, selecting an appropriate line for albacore requires balancing opposing forces. Albacore tend to be extremely line-shy, meaning that they are very wary of thicker cord, but because of their large size (up to around 30 to 35 lbs.), they can easily break a thin, low-test line. A 300-lb. test line is an effective compromise and a good starting cord for most anglers.

Step 3

Set your boat to troll at about 8 knots. Tie on your hook, and attach a lure to the line. Albacore prefer crankbait and cedar plug lures and may shy away from larger lures, so select a smaller model than you might use when fishing bluefin, yellowfin or bigeye tuna. If you're fishing in the early morning or at dusk, use a darker colored lure. Later in the day, you may have better success with a lighter color.

Step 4

Slow the trolling speed of the boat when you get a bite. Reel in your line until the fish reaches a distance where it can be netted or hooked into the boat.

Tips & Warnings

  • You will need a fishing license before you can fish for albacore tuna.